Not just a brand but a statement

Streetwear has taken over in a massive way in the UK fashion scene in the past few years but is it really still streetwear? I’ve been exploring the idea of what streetwear is and how it relates to the music industry both at it’s origin and now. I’ve also been thinking about how the relationship between music and fashion has changed over the past few decades and you can see what I’ve come up with in a recent article I’ve produced for the guys over at Music Review Unsigned.

If you’ve come over here from that article then you’ll know that the guys over at Why Not? Clothing along with musician Kiera Lawlor are my number one example of how fashion and music can create an awesome symbiotic relationship and as promised here are the titbits I managed to get out of them when we caught up for a chat.


When did you first start Why Not?
We came up with the idea of Why Not Clothing about 3years ago during a drunken night in at university, we was sat doodling question marks on a piece of paper and decided it would be a cool clothing brand. Then we graduated University and decided we wanted to see what came of it, and here we are now.

What is your biggest inspiration when it comes to the designs?
Our biggest inspiration for our designs is music, life and photography. We try and set our designs on a lifestyle, we want our brand to make people have a more get up approach to life, for example ‘Listen to life’

How do you see music and fashion as extensions of your personality?
Fashion is a massive part of someone’s personality; it helps them to express themselves. I don’t think music can define your personality these days as there are so many ranges, people these days are more open minded to different music, styles of clothing and ways of life. We try to express this through our clothing. Be who you want to be.


Radio 1Xtra DJ Crissy Criss wearing Why Not? in the studio

Tell me a little the brand.
We are an Independent brand based in Manchester ran by Glen Collings and Aimie Skillen. Our brand is based on Why Not? Why Not follow your dreams, Why Not do something you love etc. Our brand isn’t just another clothing range; we try and help other people follow their dreams whilst we are living ours. We have a media page on our website for artists, photographers, musicians and skaters. This is to help get peoples name out there as well as ours.

What labels do you love to wear?
We like to support other independent brands such as Monroe Apparel, Hype and we are also big fans of Vans.

Who are your style icons and why?
Aimie’s is Fearne Cotton and Rita Ora because they do what they want with their style. They don’t follow the crowd. Glen is a typical lad and doesn’t focus on icons but when asked he said Will Smith haha!!

What is your favourite outfit of all time?
Aimie’s is red Puma suedes, leggings, gold casio is a MUST and my Fred Perry shirt. Glen’s is Vans, grey skinny jeans and of course his Why Not sweater.

What do you see as a big fashion faux pas?
Glen doesn’t understand Crocs, WHY!!?

If you could restyle any badly dressed celebrity who would it be and how would you dress them?
We don’t really follow celebs, we are more into DJ’s and bands but if we could dress a celebrity in Why Not? it would be Rihanna just because she’s a babe and Jay Z because he is a badman.

What is your pet hate when it comes to fashion?
We hate it when people jump on the band wagon with fashion, when people wear something just because it’s ‘fashionable’ not because they want to.

Which fashion trend would you ban forever?
Shell suits! They were massive when I was young, I had them in like every colour! – Aimie
And pop open trackies, they were pretty cool though!


My favourite piece from the Why Not? range

What can we expect from Why Not? in 2013?
BIG things are happening for Why Not in 2013! A lot has been happening already, we had Radio 1 Xtra DJ Crissycriss representing our brand in the Radio1 studio and another DJ, Funtcase wearing our jumper. We are going in magazines this year like Front, you will be seeing us at festivals and make sure you keep an eye out for our Spring collection. We have also sponsored Kiera Lawlor an up and coming artist which is exciting for us as she is launching her album this year.

What do you mean when you say not just a brand but a statement?
Our brands philosophy is “it’s not just a brand but a statement” because we want to be more than just your average brand. When you’re reppin’ our brand you’re also representing a way of life. When you wear our brand we want you to do exactly what it says on the tees. Why Not? literally makes you do what you want.


When did you first start writing music?
I’ve been writing music for a long time – one song in particular stands out from around the age of 7, the chorus consisted of “we are party animals gonna turn the music high, we are party animals gonna dance till we die”, how i knew what a party animal was back then I’ll never know haha! Wow pretty embarrassing I’ve just told you that really! But yeah hopefully my song writing has improved since then!

What is your biggest inspiration when you write?
I only ever write about things I’ve experienced myself, I remember when I first started writing seriously around 15 I used to hear all these songs about life, love and hard times and I literally had nothing to write about. I used to moan to my mom saying ‘Mom why weren’t you horrible to me when I was younger so I’d have something to write about’ haha! But then as I grew up and started experiencing things for myself and I suddenly had all this material, so yeah I guess my biggest and only inspiration is life.

Who is your favourite artist?
Oh God this is the hardest question to answer, I have a new favourite bang/singer each week! At the moment I’m really into Haim. For me an amazing artist isn’t just someone who has an amazing voice, they have to have a massive stage presence and well written songs , they could have a rubbish voice for all I care but if they capture me through their performance I’m in love haha! Amy Winehouse is my all time fave though; she taught me so much about song writing.

How do you see music and fashion as extensions of your personality?
To be honest, music is just built into my personality, I’ve always performed, I’ve always written, it’s just something thats always been there and always will be I hope. Fashion is just a way of expressing myself, I don’t really follow what’s ‘In’ I just wear what I feel comfortable in.

Tell me a little about the album.
Well, I’m releasing it under my own record label ‘Loyal Tea Records’ it’s my first album called Bones and its basically just a little story about the last two years of my life. When I wrote it I was having a bit of a hard time so it was just a way of getting all that off my chest and making it into something I could be really proud of. I finished recording it last week and I’m so excited for it all to be mixed and completed, the producer I’m working with is amazing and we added in some piano, bass and percussion so it’s going to have a bit of a different sound to what I do live which I’m really excited to show everyone!

What labels do you love to wear?
I don’t really wear labels, except Why Not Clothing obviously because they sponsor me as a musician! But other than that I tend to just shop in either Urban Outfitters, Charity Shops and Topshop but I’m going off that a little because I hate walking into town and seeing everyone in the same shirt as me haha!

Who are your style icons and why?
Keith Lemon because I love his shirts haha! And Alexa Chung she is such a babe and could probably wear a bin bag and make it look hot!

What is your favourite outfit of all time?
I have the biggest collection of shirts ever I couldn’t possibly pick a favourite , so yeah a Keith Lemon style shirt and some denim shorts with creepers!


What do you see as a big fashion faux pas?
I don’t want to lower the tone but…..Camel Toe , there’s a lot of it floating around at the moment with all the lycra and leather style leggings – I love the leggings but ladies please double check before leaving the house!

If you could restyle any badly dressed celebrity who would it be and how would you dress them?
Hmmmm this is a tricky one! I’d love to sort Noel Edmunds out with a shave and a new hair style. I love his shirts though haha!

Which fashion trend would you ban forever?
Remember those jeans everyone used to have about two years ago with the elastic round the ankles – I can’t stand them.

What’s in store for Kiera Lawlor in 2013?
2013 is a really exciting year for me, I mean its only January and I’ve been fully booked up with gigs and I’ve got gigs booked up until May, so the release of the album, hopefully I’ll get started on writing a new one too, lots more gigs a couple of music videos, hopefully some festivals and I’ll be announcing a summer tour in the next few months!

What can we expect from Why Not?
You can expect loads from Why Not as well, they are doing so well at the moment and I know they are just going to get bigger and bigger. It’s great because we’re in this together; we’re both doing creative things at the same time together, when they go to venues to sell clothes they make sure they get me a gig there and I do the same for them, when I go on tour in the summer I’m bringing them with me to sell at all the venues. We’ve got Bahh PR in the team as well who I put on gigs with , were just like this little creative group running round Manchester like mad men , playing gigs, selling clothes and most importantly having LOTS of fun!

peace pink


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